The earnest money deposit is an important part of the home buying process. It lets the seller know that you are a committed buyer and are not just wasting their time. Without earnest money, you could essentially make offers on multiple homes. That would take them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. Sellers rarely accept offers without deposits. If your offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money will go towards the down payment or closing costs of the transaction. In many cases, you can get most of your deposit back if you discover a home has costly repairs or a clouded title. If you are unable to obtain financing, your earnest money is usually refunded. However, if you decide on your own that you no longer want the home, you may lose your earnest money. It becomes a form of payment to the seller for their time that was wasted. Earnest money checks are made out to the Title Company performing the transaction.
The option fee gives a potential buyer, in return for paying an “option fee” to the seller, the unrestricted right to terminate the contract by giving notice of termination to the seller within a certain number of days after the effective date of the negotiated contract. The option fee time period is negotiable as well as the option fee itself. We encourage all of our clients to take advantage of the option period. The option period is the time to do your inspections and collect as much information as possible about your prospective home. Option Fee’s are directly paid to the sellers.